2017 Fantasy Football Consistency: Tight Ends

by Bob Lung
Jun 23, 2017

After reuniting with Adam Gase in Miami, there’s a decent chance Julius Thomas (pictured) can have a bounceback year

Bob Lung discusses the consistency of fantasy football tight ends.

This piece is part of our article program that features quality content from experts exclusively at FantasyPros. For more insight from Bob head to Big Guy Fantasy Sports.

The tight end position has some serious depth issues heading into 2017. Tier One is fine and is made up of very consistent tight ends WHEN they’re healthy.

Some of the Tier Two tight ends have solid potential to be consistent and have certainly proven it in the past, but after those players, it gets real dicey! You need to get one of the top 10 tight ends below. Trust me on this one!

Let’s look at those tight ends ranked in their projected tier for 2017 and show you their 2016 total points and consistency and where they ranked in those categories in 2016. Let’s start with the top tier of tight ends.

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TIER ONE

Player Name Tot Pts Pts Rk Tot CG Tot GP CR% ’16 Rk ’17 Tier ’17 Rk
Rob Gronkowski 97.00 26 4 7 57% 11 TE1A 1
Travis Kelce 221.50 1 10 16 63% 3 TE1A 2
Greg Olsen 205.30 3 10 16 63% 4 TE1A 3
Jordan Reed 170.60 9 9 12 75% 2 TE1A 4

 
It appears that for the first time in years, Rob Gronkowski’s ADP is NOT in the first round! Currently, it’s hovering around pick 20. I still believe that’s way too soon, but it’s more reasonable now.

This tier of TE1A represents those tight ends that I believe will earn an Expected Clutch Rate of 70%+. Gronkowski has certainly earned over that many times in his career when healthy, as have Kelce, Olsen, and Reed. Reed can be a beast in a PPR format IF he can stay on the field. Regardless, all four of these tight ends are safe, consistent picks when healthy.

TIER TWO

Player Name Tot Pts Pts Rk Tot CG Tot GP CR% ’16 Rk ’17 Tier ’17 Rk
Jimmy Graham 191.70 4 10 16 63% 5 TE1B 5
Kyle Rudolph 209.00 2 12 16 75% 1 TE1B 6
Tyler Eifert 98.40 25 5 8 63% 6 TE1B 7
Delanie Walker 187.00 5 9 15 60% 7 TE1B 8
Julius Thomas 82.90 32 5 9 56% 12 TE1B 9
Martellus Bennett 167.20 10 8 16 50% 14 TE1B 10
Zach Ertz 183.60 6 8 14 57% 9 TE1B 11
Jack Doyle 147.40 13 7 16 44% 21 TE1B 12

 
This tier represents an Expected Clutch Rate of 57-69%. I realize that is a big range, but for tight ends, that’s about where the second tier usually falls out. You can see above that most of the tight ends were in that range in 2016.

Kyle Rudolph was the No. 1 most consistent tight end in 2016 and with Sam Bradford still there as his quarterback, there’s no reason to believe he can’t put up a 65% Expected Clutch Rate in 2017. Not sure, he’ll hit the 75% like he did last season, but with Rudolph’s current ADP of TE9/pick 90, he’s certainly great value this year.

Julius Thomas is currently greatly undervalued as his current ADP is TE18/pick 160. Let us not forget that Thomas’ best seasons were when he was in Denver and Adam Gase was his OC.

Now, Gase is his HC and Gase went after Thomas in the offseason to bring him to Miami. I see no reason Thomas can’t hit a 60% Expected Clutch Rate in 2017 in that offense.

TIER THREE

Player Name Tot Pts Pts Rk Tot CG Tot GP CR% ’16 Rk ’17 Tier ’17 Rk
Hunter Henry 135.20 17 7 14 50% 15 TE2A 13
Eric Ebron 138.10 14 7 13 54% 13 TE2A 14

 
Yes, I realize there are only two players here, but that’s because the remaining tight ends are either rookies or risky veterans. We are looking at backup tight ends at this point anyway.

Hunter Henry will be a very good tight end someday. However, I’m not ready to move him into the top 10 this year as long as Antonio Gates is still playing for the Chargers. Let someone else take that leap of faith.

Eric Ebron is supposed to “break out” every year and every year, he doesn’t. Health and consistency are two of Ebron’s weaknesses. Stay away from both of them by not drafting Ebron.

Well, there are your Expected Clutch Rankings for 2017 with some consistency rankings for the tight ends in 2016 to support it. If you didn’t make the playoffs and you had Coby Fleener or Jason Witten on your team and can’t understand why, then I hope this helped clear things up.


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